Regular light exercise slows down aging of the brain

by Medindia Content Team on  November 14, 2005 at 8:46 PM General Health News
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Regular light exercise slows down aging of the brain
New York:Regular light exercise with a doctor's permission is good at any time of life, and it also keeps the brain young, says a new study. Thomas Foster and other scientists from the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida looked at groups of rats that had lived to old age. Some were more sedentary, while others had access to an exercise wheel.

Scientists examined chemical compounds in 41 tissue samples taken from a part of the brain important for balance and movement at the end of experiments, reports science portal EurekAlert.

More active rats were found to have fewer byproducts of oxidative stress in their brains. Fats known as lipids that help stabilisestabilize cell membranes, and DNA, the molecule that contains our the genetic blueprint, both better withstood the rigoursrigors of time.

"The DNA for of these animals after two years looked as if it were from their younger counterparts of only about six months of age," Foster said. "It shows a little bit of exercise may stimulate the body to fight stress that's normally occurring in the brain."

"By age of 50 years almost everyone has mild memory deficits. "If these losses increase, then we run into problems. We want to prevent that," Foster said.

"Certainly exercise with a doctor's permission is good at any time of life. Light walking, burning 150 calories at a time, may be beneficial in changing the enzymes within our bodies that protect us from free radicals and remove damaged molecules." he said.

Oxidative damage in the brain is believed to be a natural consequence of aging and a contributor to memory loss. In addition, increased oxidative damage has been implicated in the loss of brain cells that is associated with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Scientists are now looking to determine which natural chemicals and mechanisms are triggered by exercise to fight oxidative stress, and to test whether reducing the stress actually improves brain function.

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